The United States Coast Guard (USCG) has issued a safety alert regarding bollard failures at US marine facilities. Recently a number of incidents have been reported where the shore side bollards have failed resulting in the moored ships being cast adrift. The causes identified include the rotting of organic bollards made of marine pilings, the undetected fracture of bollard castings due to manufacturer defects, damage from previous overloads, or the degradation of bollard foundations and fasteners which make the bollards fail when exposed to load from a ship’s mooring lines.

Members are advised to be cautious and apply the best safe mooring practice possible, including:

• Discuss the forthcoming mooring with the Pilot, including strength of shore side bollards and any concerns to be highlighted.
• Mooring lines to be distributed between the available bollards in the safest way possible in order to avoid excessive load.
• Master when possible to make visual inspection of bollards used for mooring upon arrival.
• Report any apparent deficiency of the shore side mooring equipment to the appropriate port authority at earliest opportunity and support with pictures.

The full Marine Safety Alert can be read here.